How Much Yarn Does it Take?

Some of you may be wondering just how much yarn it takes to make an afghan. I know I was surprised when I received an afghan kit in the mail. But let me back up as to why I got this afghan kit in the mail…

Every year for the past few years, my mom and I have both made an afghan and donated it to the local sheriff’s department. They raffle them off to help raise money for their “Shop with a Hero” program. This is a great event that takes place around Christmas time and allows children in the community to shop with a police officer, fire fighter, EMT/paramedic, soldier, etc. The sheriff’s department has been able to help a lot of children. In fact, my own children got to “shop with a hero” when they were little. This event always holds a very special place in my heart, and my mom’s also.

So this is a bittersweet year for me. I will have to make two afghans. One for my mom and one for me. That brings me to the afghan kit. Mom loved it when the Herrschner’s catalog would come in the mail. Since she couldn’t go to Walmart any more to shop for yarn, the mail order catalog was the next best thing. So, one day shortly before she passed, I was flipping through the newest catalog with her, and I saw it. I saw the afghan I wanted to make this year for the sheriff’s department. Mom wrinkled her nose at it. “Too much work, too many color changes,” she said. But I was undeterred–I was going to make that afghan.

I felt like this was perfect. It came with the pattern and all the yarn I would need to complete this gorgeous afghan. I didn’t get it ordered until after Mom passed away. Now, it seems to be to perfect tribute this year, so she will be “never forgotten”.

About a week after Mom passed, I got around to ordering the afghan kit. When it finally came in the mail, it was in a HUGE box. I thought to myself that maybe they just didn’t have the right size box, but nope, that box was filled to the brim with yarn.

All of that to make one afghan…phew…that is a lot of yarn!!

So now I am braving my way through it. I started it and ripped out the first row three times before I got it right. Maybe mom was right. But it is just a big graph, no fancy stitches or anything. How could something so simple be so hard?

I blame it on my poor eyesight. Those boxes on the graph are itsy bitsy. I wasn’t going to let that stop me…

I found a magnifying glass at Walmart. So then the work began…

What a mess! But it is so much fun, now that I am started.


Darn Good Yarn–A Journey in Yarn Subscriptions

On Monday, I got my first box from Darn Good Yarn. This is a new thing for me–I mean getting yarn that is a total mystery. I like yarn shopping. No…I LOVE yarn shopping. I love the smell, the look, and the feel of yarn. If I could taste yarn, I probably would. So, to receive a box of yarn that I know nothing about caused me a little bit of anxiety. My motivation for doing such a crazy thing was because I might want to start a yarn of the month program later on when I am independently wealthy and have my own yarn line.

So here are my “unboxing” photos. Maybe next month, I will make a video instead. I have to say that, at this point in my blogging career, I am not being sponsored by this company. (Who knows? Maybe in the future I will be!)

My delightful new yarn came in a pretty purple box…

This is what the inside of the box looked like when I opened it…  the yarn smelled absolutely magnificent.  Exotic and rich.  I can’t adequately describe it!  I hope all of their yarn smells this nice!

My mystery yarn was a very pretty variegated yarn in bright rainbow colors. The name of it is Watercolors.  It is hand-spun and hand-dyed.  It is a worsted weight silk yarn made from bamboo.  

I also got a crochet hook and a pair of knitting needles made from wood with a purple coating on the tips.

I also got a free gift…more silk yarn.  It is red and gray.  This yarn is also hand-spun and hand-dyed.

Since Monday, I have started a cowl.  The project was in the book that is not pictured.  The project booklet  contains a knit and a crochet pattern.  There is enough yarn to complete either project.   SO of course, I opted for the knit project

So if I learned nothing else from this experiment, I learned that I want to learn to spin my own yarn. I had toyed with the idea, but after knitting with this yarn I am hooked. I think I will definitely start spinning my own yarn in the near future.


What a Jigsaw Puzzle!

Before Mom passed, she knew her time was getting short. So, she tried to finish up as many projects as she could before her passing. For instance, the wedding gift I mentioned in my last post. I had to help her finish that one. The pieces were simply too big for her to manage. This afghan was the very last thing she worked on before her passing.

Lucky me. No pattern. She made this one up as she went along. I think she made another one like it, but that remains to be seen. She kept telling me, “only two more blocks…”. She never got the chance to finish. So intrepid crafter that I am, I decided I would try to finish it myself. I sat it all out on the floor.

SO then I sat out to figure out what I was missing. I think I am missing more than two blocks….lol.

So, if any one out there has one like this, will you please email me a picture so I know how this goes together? In the mean time, I will be trying to finish up this project. I intend on mapping out each block and making a printable pattern. I think it may be the only way to finish.


Fabulous Febuary Finishes

This month has been busy! I started this blog, for one. Then I had the granny challenge–48 complete in all.

Next, were the red hats for newborns. I personally completed 6. I have 20 in total, and still am gathering up the stragglers. I plan to get them in the mail next week.

Finally, I completed a three month project. It is a wedding gift for someone…so I can’t give too many details on that one!

So many, many more projects to come. I got my video camera set up, and I am almost ready to start making videos. Stay tuned!


When life gives you a pointy hat….

Last time I left you with the dilemma of the pointy hat. What to do with a pointy hat?

My clever husband had the answer. Put a pom-pom on the top.

So, here’s my photo tutorial on making a pom-poms.

So, I found pom-pom makers in some of mom’s stuff. I think the brand is Clover, but I am not sure because it was a set that I found in a storage bowl.

So start wrapping yarn….

And wrapping…until it is full all the way around.

Then cut the yarn all the way around.

Cut a piece of yarn and wrap it around the middle. Then tie 2 or 3 tight knots to secure all of the yarn.

Viola! One cute little pom-pom. To attach, take a crochet hook and draw the tails from the pom-poms to the inside of the hat. Then tie the tails, cut the extra, and tuck in the ends.

As always, I try to provide an Amazon affiliate link to the products that I use. These pom-pom makers are very similar to the ones in the storage bowl. By purchasing items from the link, you are helping to fund the upkeep for this blog.


Baby Heart–a heart hat for babies

As a follow-up to my last post, I have been feverishly working on the new pattern that I promised. DO I have any volunteers to be test knitters to see if my instructions make sense? Please contact me if you are interested. I will e-mail the PDF to you.

I started with my favorite size 7 (US) bamboo knitting needles. I used Red Heart “With Love” Metallic yarn in red because we are still in February and I am still making red hats for newborns. One skein will make 3-4 hats, just depending on your tension.

Next, I casted on 52 stitches. (For a bigger hat, cast on in multiples of 13).

Rows 1-8: Knit 1, Purl 1 across (This will make a nice rib stitch). Row 9: Knit across. Row 10: Purl across. Row 11: Knit across. Row 12: Purl across.

This is what the first 12 rows should look like….

Making the Heart

Row 13: knit 25, make a bobble, knit 26. There are a million different ways to make a bobble. I have provided a YouTube video to help you figure out which you like best. (NOTE: This is not my video…)

From here forward, all even rows are purled across.

Row 15: k24, MB, k, MB, k25 (52 stitches) 

Row 17: k23, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k24 (52 stitches) 

Row 19: k22, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k23 (52 stitches) 

Row 21: k21, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k22 (52 stitches) 

Row 23: k20, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k21 (52 stitches)

Row 25: k21, MB, k, MB, k3, MB, k, MB, k22 (52 stitches)

Row 27 and 29: k52 (52 stitches)

This is rows 1-30…

Shaping the top

Row 31: k11, k2tog, repeat across (48 stitches)

Row 33: k10, k2tog, repeat across (44 stitches) 

Row 35: k9, k2tog, repeat across (40 stitches) 

Row 37: k8, k2tog, repeat across (36 stitches) 

Row 39: k7, k2tog, repeat across (32 stitches) 

Row 41: k6, k2tog, repeat across (28 stitches) 

Row 43: k5, k2tog, repeat across (24 stitches) 

Row 45: k4, k2tog, repeat across (20 stitches) 

Row 47: k3, k2tog, repeat across (16 stitches) 

Row 49: k2, k2tog, repeat across (12 stitches) 

Now that the knitting is done, break yarn and leave a tail approx. 10 inches long.  Using blunt ended yarn needle, draw the yarn back through the remaining four stitches on the needle. Pull tight.  Turn the piece so that right sides are together and use the remaining yarn to sew the seam.  Tie off the yarn, cut, and tuck-in.
Finished.  I think it is too pointy at the top.  Please leave me a comment with your thoughts. 


Technical difficulty….

This week is going to be a bit short. I am having to do everything with my phone. We are moving into our new living room, so my house and technology has been turned upside-down.

I am hoping to start posting videos on YouTube soon. So be on the lookout for that!

I have continued to work on itsy bitsy red hats for newborns. I have 4 in total now.

I am also working on a new knit pattern for a hat pattern that I will post here when I finish it.

Here is a preview:

I don’t have an Amazon affiliate link this time….